Something for the Weekend: Best Racing and Football Bets
We have another cracking weekend of sport this week, with a full fixture list of Premier League action and an excellent Saturday afternoon of racing entertainment. A perfect excuse to settle down in front of the TV, and what better way to up the excitement than with a bet or two?
Here we pick out our best bets in the two Group class events from Sandown, and the big Sunday fixtures of Liverpool vs. Aston Villa and Arsenal vs. Manchester United, using data presented by newbettingsites.co.uk.
Saturday: Sandown 2:25pm Virgin Bet Atalanta Stakes
With six wins in total, Sir Michael Stoute is the most successful trainer in the history of this race. That stat automatically makes his sole entry Potapova of interest – particularly as she came home in front in the 2022 edition of this. On the downside, the mare is five years old now, and 36 of the past 37 winners have been aged four or younger. That’s a pretty strong trend to defy and enough to make us look elsewhere.
With 28 wins from 37 editions, the three-year-olds boast much the best record, and we fancy the winner may emerge from that age group again, with the three to concentrate on being the John & Thady Gosden duo of Coppice and Queen For You and the Richard Fahey-trained Midnight Mile. Coppice ran respectably in a Group 1 last time out, whilst Queen For You looks interesting now back to a more suitable trip, but the vote goes to Midnight Mile. This daughter of No Nay Never has been running consistently well all season, with a win at Listed level and a third in this grade over 1m2½f last time out. Her form in just two starts over this sort of distance also really catches the eye. Having come home in front in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, she followed up with an excellent fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. A repeat of either of those efforts may well be enough to take this.
- Best Bet - Midnight Mile to win @ 6/1 with BetGoodwin
Saturday: Sandown 3:38pm Virgin Bet Solario Stakes
This contest for the juveniles has produced several hugely talented performers in recent times, including future Group 1 stars Too Darn Hot and Kingman and 2018 Epsom Derby hero Masar. Always a race worth keeping an eye on, we have another intriguing lineup this year, with five of the six contenders arriving on the back of a win.
Mortlake scored impressively at Leicester and makes the shortlist, but the two clear standouts on breeding are the Godolphin runner Aablan and Sir Michael Stoute’s Starlore. Aablan is by super sire Dubawi and out of a Group 2 winning mare, whilst Starlore is by Group 1 winner Kingman and out of the Group 2 winning mare Starformer. Turning to the trainers, Sir Michael Stoute boasts a 30% strike rate with 2-year-olds over this trip who won on their first start, whilst Charlie Appleby’s respective figure stands at 30.8%. This comes down to price, and with Starlore available at 5/2 and Aablan at 7/2, the value call is to side with the Godolphin runner.
- Best Bet - Aablan to win @ 7/2 with LiveScoreBet
Sunday: 2pm Liverpool vs Aston Villa
First up on Sunday is this cracking clash from Anfield, as Liverpool look to build on that sensational last-gasp turnaround at St. James’s Park. Having come back from a goal and a man down to overhaul the heavily touted Magpies, Jurgen Klopp’s men arrive on a high. They do, however, go into the game without Virgil van Dijk, following his red card in the north east. Even without their skipper, the Reds are full of confidence, were impressive going forward in their opening home game against Bournemouth, and look worthy favourites to come out on top.
However, Unai Emery’s Aston Villa are not to be underestimated, having rebounded from an opening day thumping by Newcastle with three successive wins - hitting 12 goals in the process. We expect the visitors to give Liverpool plenty to think about, but Emery’s insistence on playing a high defensive line may prove their undoing. Villa were found wanting in that area against Newcastle, and Darwin Nunez needed only 15 minutes to breach the Newcastle rearguard twice with his perfectly timed runs. With Mo Salah, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai capable of playing defence-splitting passes, the odds-against quotes for Nunez to score at any time look too big.
- Best Bet - Darwin Nunez Anytime Goalscorer @ 27/20 with Quinnbet
Sunday: 4:30pm Arsenal vs Manchester United
A fixture which rarely fails to deliver takes centre stage on Sunday. It may seem a while ago that Arsenal and Manchester United regularly fought for the title, but old rivalries die hard, and there will be no love lost at the Emirates. A top-four finish will be the minimum expectation for both sides this season, but neither has flown out of the blocks. Arsenal are unbeaten but only just edged both Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace, before being pegged back by 10-man Fulham. Manchester United, meanwhile, somehow have six points on the board despite being borderline awful throughout against Wolves and in the second half against Spurs, and needing a red card and penalty decision to overcome Forest at Old Trafford.
Visual impression would suggest that Arsenal are playing the better football, and that is largely backed up by the numbers. Looking at the average xG figures across the three games to date, Arsenal boasts an xG-for of 2.09 and xG-against of 0.96, for an xG difference of +1.13. Manchester United’s respective figures are 2.48 for and 1.74 against, for an xG difference of +0.74. Not a whole lot in it, and Manchester United’s offensive output should see them on the scoresheet. However, that xG-against figure is worrying - particularly on the road - and we suspect the Red Devils backline to crumble under the pressure.
- Best Bet - Arsenal to Win and Both Teams to Score @ 41/20 with Midnite
English Premier League Standing 2023/24
Updated as of Thursday, August 31, 2023.
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